Super pissed… myself……but feeling stupid about it.

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
205 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Aw. I was in the same situation.

Just keep trying! Shift gears while you aren’t moving. Or maybe try shifting them for him while he’s driving. I found it easier to practice shifting when I didn’t have to focus on actually steering the car too.

You’ll get it. Keep your chin up and don’t give up. You won’t hurt the car. Even people driving standards for a long time when they don’t learn properly can burnt the clutch. Make sure you don’t get any bad habits and you’ll be okay.

One pro: he seems like an awesome teacher! Good luck!

Post # 3
8850 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

It’s really really REALLY not going to hurt your car to kill it a bunch, or accidentally downshift. Don’t give up! It’s crazy to own a car you can’t drive – what if there was an emergency and that’s all that was available? If zitty little 15-year-olds can learn, surely you can too. 

Post # 3
889 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

MrsEME:  yeah, it kind of sucks. But instead if letting this negative experience stop you,  I’d recommend to look at how to change things. Which honestly isn’t impossible. 

You’ve tried for all of fifteen minutes. Here in Germany, getting a license without being able to drive a manual is unheard of. And I’m sure we don’t have it in our genes any more than you to do it. But yet, lots of people have a license. So it can be done. And here, you’re absolutely not allowed to practice other than with your driving school which is ridiculously expensive, so I say be glad you get to learn for free. All it takes is time, concentration and discipline. 


and actually I think you’re doing fine if your problem is finding the right gear tht’s something that is easily learned. You don’t wen have to drive while learning that, so you don’t need to be scared to ruin the car. Actually finding the right way to start driving is much more difficult which you’ve actually managed. So you’ve let the car die a few times. So what. you’re human and can’t do things right away like someone that’s done it for a long time. Big deal. 


I think ink you just need to change your mindset avoid this and then try again. 

Also if you’re that worried aboit your new car, rent a car for a couple of hours and don’t worry about it. That’s like a 50$ Investment, you won’t be stressed out about ruining the car and at the end of the day you’ll be comfortable driving your own car without problems. It’s not gonna work though if you beat yourself up a out it. 

Im sure you’ll be fine, just try again! 

Post # 6
10840 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

MrsEME: Mrs. Mustang: has offered good advice – to use the gears whilst stationary with the engine switched off. I think I even did this whilst learning and kept the gear position with the stick in my head. We have the opposite problem here in the UK, going to an auto is so different to what you’re first taught. We’ve just bought an auto and it’s heaven, so easy, I imagine not knowing a stick shift after being used to an auto must be hard. Keep going you can do it. 

Post # 7
889 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014



im not sure whether it’s correct but I was once told never to change gears when the engine is off! You can still do it while standing, but the car should be running. Just put in the hand break and dont hit the accelerator and you’re fine. 

Post # 8
10840 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

MsquareM: & MrsEME: Yes sorry I’ve checked with the Mr and you do need the engine on as you won’t be able to go through all the gears, you can keep the handbrake on like you say.

Post # 10
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Top tip…

1. Learn to compress the clutch frequently whilst you are at cruising speed. Obviously don’t do it if you are turning corners/braking etc or you will lose torque, but on the open road then it is usually fine. It also improves your fuel efficiency.

2. When changing gear, do it as TWO movements, not one! The gearstick has a spring which will make it automatically spring to the centre, if released. The centre, on most vehicles, is between third and fourth gear. Therefore:

– To go from first to second, pull directly down.

– To go from second to third, release the gearstick with one movement, let it spring into the centre, in “neutral”, and then push it directly upwards. Two movements. Not one.

– To go from third to fourth, pull directly down.

– To go from fourth to fifth, release the gearstick with one movement, let it spring into the centre, and then push up and to the right. Two quick movements.

Likewise, the movement from fifth to fourth, or third to second, is also two movements rather than one.

The reason you are struggling to get into third, and you have pushed it into fifth accidentally, is because you are trying to do it in one movement… diagonally and upwards. But this will not work. Practise whilst you are parked up and with the engine turned off, and you will see what I mean.

Post # 11
58 posts
Worker bee

MrsEME:  it’ll be fine.. my husband bought a brand new manual car too, and i’ve practiced on it, stalling it about 25 times per session, i figured it has an auto train warentey lol

Post # 12
10454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

What about taking a few driver’s ed lessons?  Here you can do them for specific things, not just a whole course, so hopefully it’s like that there too.  You’ll still have to practice on the truck, but at least it won’t be brand new to you in your brand new vehicle!

Post # 13
42157 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

MrsEME:  I remember years ago when I needed a rental car and the only one left was a manual. I pretended that was fine because I was desparate for  car. We had just moved to a new town the day before, my husband was working and needed our automatic and i had to run around town getting hydro, cable etc set up.

I had NEVER driven a manual before. I phoned hubby at work and he told me I would be fine “just put in the clutch to change gears”. That was the sum total of my driving lesson.

This was a town built on the edge of the sea with hills leading up from the main highway everywhere. Well, I stalled that car all over town. After many stalls, I was about to go to our new apartment to meet the movers. I stalled the car in an intersection on the main highway. The guy behind me was honking like a maniac, so it was hard to relax and do things right.  I was so frustrated I was in tears. I got out of the car, walked back to his diver’s side window, beckoned him to roll down the window, then said “Do you seriously think that is helping???” then got back in the car and managed to drive away.

I finally got to the driveway of the apartment bulding where hubby had rented us an apartment, only to find it too was a hill, and I stalled the car again. I had had enough.I left the car where it was parked, locked it up and went to find the apartment to wait for the movers. When they came they told me they couldn’t bring the truck in as “some idiot had left their car in the driveway!” I told them that was me, and gave them the keys to move the car into our parking spot.

I have never driven a manual since.


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